the WHITE HOUSEPresident Donald J. Trump

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Robin Bernstein to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Dominican Republic.  Ms. Bernstein has served as President and Director of Richard S. Bernstein and Associates, Inc. since 2004, and Vice President and Director of Rizbur, Inc. since 2002, both of West Palm Beach, Florida.  For four decades, she has provided leadership and management to the business, government, and the non-profit communities of Florida.  Currently, she is co-founder of Palm Beach Country Cares, a Florida relief effort for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Ms. Bernstein earned a B.A. from American University School of International Service and an M.B.A. from George Washington University.  She speaks French and basic Spanish.

Christopher Ashley Ford of Maryland to be an Assistant Secretary of State, International Security and Non-Proliferation.  Dr. Ford currently serves as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation at the National Security Council.  Dr. Ford served on several different committees in the U.S. Senate, served as a State Department official, and worked as a senior fellow at Hudson Institute.  Dr. Ford is the author of three books – China Looks at the West: Identity, Global Ambitions, and the Future of Sino-American Relations (2015), The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations (2010), and The Admirals’ Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War (2005) – and scores of articles and monographs.  He also served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, receiving an Honorable Discharge at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  Dr. Ford earned an A.B., summa cum laude, at Harvard University, a D.Phil. at Oxford University in the United Kingdom (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. at Yale Law School.  A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.

Jeffrey Kessler of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Enforcement and Compliance.  Mr. Kessler is a counsel in the International Trade, Investment, and Market Access group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.  He has represented United States manufacturers in domestic trade remedy proceedings, helping them obtain relief from unfair foreign trade practices.  Mr. Kessler has also been involved in litigating several high-profile World Trade Organization disputes, successfully challenging foreign country practices that restrict international trade, and defending U.S. trade practices.  Mr. Kessler also advises American companies and industry associations on trade, investment, and market access barriers imposed by China.  Mr. Kessler is a member of the American Bar Association and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. and M.A. from Stanford University, where he was an articles editor of the Stanford Law Review and a John M. Olin Law and Economics fellow.